Expanding the Canon Annual Lecture

with Komarine Romdenh-Romluc

Date: 14th October, 2.30 – 4.30pm.

Location: Diamond Workroom 1, The Diamond, The University of Sheffield

Fanon and the Body Schema

Frantz Fanon was a Martinican-born psychiatrist and one of the most important anti-colonial thinkers of the twentieth century. His work draws on a range of different disciplines, including philosophy, to provide a far-reaching analysis of colonialism, and strategies of resistance. A central theme in his work is that colonialism is not just a physical system of oppression, but also an ideology – a set of ideas that help uphold oppression. Moreover, those ideas are not just intellectually grasped, but become part of living embodied reality. Fanon argues that colonialism negatively affects the self – one’s sense of who one is and the construction of one’s self-identity. It also distorts, disrupts, and destroys people’s relations with one another. The foundation of his account is his theory of the body schema, which is, very roughly speaking, the body’s ‘grasp’ or ‘sense’ of itself. In this talk, I will examine what Fanon takes the body schema to be, and how he takes it to be impacted by colonial ideas.